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The Winner-Take-All Trend In Tech (newyorker.com) 124

An anonymous reader writes: A pair of articles about the tech industry serve to highlight a growing trend. First, Om Malik writes in The New Yorker about the failure of ride-sharing company Sidecar, backed by Richard Branson, and how it's one more example of the winner-take-all tendency with modern tech firms. "This loop of algorithms, infrastructure, and data is potent. Add what are called network effects to the mix, and you start to see virtual monopolies emerge almost overnight. ... The more we use it, the more data we give the company, and the more it is able to control where we turn our attention."

The second article is from Jacques Mattheij, who notes a different side of the trend toward one winner and a whole lot of losers: unnecessary reliance on cloud-based components to force vendor lock-in. "In many of these cases if you look a bit more closely at what is being sold you'll realize that these are just instances of a business-model that was grafted on as an afterthought onto something that would have worked really well stand-alone but where the creators weren't happy with a one-time fee from potential buyers." Companies who hit it big early can't help but stay dominant if they force users to rely on their servers.

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The Winner-Take-All Trend In Tech

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  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @06:36AM (#51214691)

    That is why standards are so useful and we need to keep making them.

    When winner-takes-all happens, it's better to have the standard be the winner. Not some company.

    Because when winner-takes-all happens with companies you get a monopoly and abuse of that monopoly (possibly from the pressure of the stock market demanding better and better numbers).

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Standards tend to only happen in markets where there are multiple parties ganging up on a dominant player by following a standard. If you already have a "winner-takes-all" situation like MS Office, they're not going to work for a real standard to open them up to competition. Take for example online storage, there's Dropbox, GDrive, SkyDrive, iCloud and whatever. I'm sure it would be possible to create a standard so you could have a drop-in storage provider, heck with a compliant implementation maybe you cou

      • by Lennie ( 16154 )

        Standards tend to only happen in markets where there are multiple parties ganging up on a dominant player by following a standard.

        Agreed, you need to make the standards early enough to prevent the winner-takes-all.

        • Agreed, you need to make the standards early enough to prevent the winner-takes-all.

          Many standards existed long before a winner took all and then made the result incompatible. The existence of a standard doesn't stop this and if anything gives a company a foundation on which to build, and even an existing userbase to absorb.

          • This is definitely true. For example, WebDAV. Or, the replacement of SMTP, NNTP, and websites by social networks. There are protocols which are good that they are replaced. DHCP has done an excellent job at replacing BOOTP and RARP.

            Then, you get protocols which -should- be supported by vendors. SSHFS comes to mind as one example of something that should be everywhere, just because the server side only needs to care about RSA key authentication and running sftp, and the client side handles all the heavy

            • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

              This is definitely true. For example, WebDAV. Or, the replacement of SMTP, NNTP, and websites by social networks. There are protocols which are good that they are replaced. DHCP has done an excellent job at replacing BOOTP and RARP.

              Then, you get protocols which -should- be supported by vendors. SSHFS comes to mind as one example of something that should be everywhere, just because the server side only needs to care about RSA key authentication and running sftp, and the client side handles all the heavy lift

    • When winner-takes-all happens, it's better to have the standard be the winner. Not some company.

      The standard is never the winner as the standard is irrelevant for most users and irrelevant for profit. The most profitable and largest products have not been the ones that follow the best standards because frankly most end users couldn't give a damn. Heck if nothing else standards give corporations a nice way to access an existing user base while slowly "extending" the standard to convert users to their own services. The existence of standards like this early on don't stop single companies taking over. e.

      • by Sique ( 173459 )
        Actually, the most profitable and larges products have all been products that followed lots of standards. You know how many standards a car has to comply with? Or a television set?

        We tend to ignore how many standards products follow even if we call then "proprietary".

        Standards make sense. Standards allow for cooperation. Standards allow for modularization. Standards make complexity manageable and provide clear interfaces. Standards reduce the risk of the unexpected. And standards actually spur innovatio

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Doesn't that argument break down when you get to software or am I missing something?

          Let's use, for one example (and note that you said "all"), and go with Microsoft's Office suite. Now, I've not used it in a long time but I seem to recollect that not even they conformed to their own standard document format when creating files with Word. Their email uses proprietary storage. Their spreadsheet uses proprietary formats. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

          They are the dominant office suite - across the

          • by Sique ( 173459 )
            Microsoft Word rose to prominence while at first, it was able to read many of the document formats out there. If you had an early Word version, you could be quite sure that you could open most of the documents anyone else sent you, quite different to the competition, which focussed on their own format. In lieu of a standard document format, Word was a standard document processor, one that could process Ami Pro and WordStar, WordPerfect and DisplayWrite.

            Excel rose to prominence because it was the first usa

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Thank you. Hmm... And for Flash? While it does appear to be on its way out (in favor of a developing standard) it was quite huge for a rather long time. Though, I guess, you could say that it did have its own standard - as one could, technically, make Flash files without using any Adobe products at all. Hmm, indeed. Yeah, kind of makes sense. Thanks.

    • Open standards help the industry innovate in an environment where only a few large "winners" exist. But they don't really stop the winner take all results of the IT industry. This is because this situation is caused more by high barriers of entry, network effects, and the benefits of user data.

      In the article, the attributes Google had which led to its dominance would not have been mitigated by open standards. Their initial benefit was a better approach to search, but that was very short lived. Their dominan

  • but she doesn't have a lot to say
    Google's a pretty nice girl
    but she changes from day to day
    I wanna tell her that I love her a lot
    but I gotta get a belly full of wine
    Google's a pretty nice girl
    someday I'm gonna make her mine, oh yeah
    someday I'm gonna make her mine

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @07:05AM (#51214757) Journal
    From a business point of view, the use of cloud components is not unnecessary but required, since they want to lock us in. Built-in vendor lock-in is nothing new either, companies have attempted it with patents, diverging standards and underhanded business practises for over a century.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Required? How so?

      By "cloud" are you referencing only those that are not owned by the company themselves? I think they call them "internal clouds" where one uses the same services but one actually owns the hardware and provisions the service on that hardware themselves or by another department within the same company.

      To my mind, the cloud is not much different than when we used to rent time on a mainframe and access it with dumb terminals. Hell, I still remember seeing terminals that didn't even have screens

  • Basic economics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Britz ( 170620 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @07:16AM (#51214783)

    I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008.

    Yet some models and explanations are solid and work. One of them is the concept of the natural monopoly. I would argue that Facebook, Microsoft (Windows and Office) operate in markets with natural monopolies.

    Markets with a natural monopoly don't work well in a market economy. They either need to be heavily regulated or simply taken over by the state and out of the private industry. Both models aren't ideal.

    But Microsoft isn't regulated. Facebook neither. This happens because of globalization. Nation states would need to regulate them, but since those companies operate on a global scale, there is little interest by national regulators to step in. Since there is no international regulator, there is no regulation. Hence these companies are free to exploit their natural monopoly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      One thing with these mega monopolies its that they do not any reasonable level of tax in the host countries by many tricks.
      Competition can't take place when the playing field is not level!, not ever.

      National regulators need to fix this - at least China is attempting to have a domestic presence. Until then the national regulators see their current account being hooved up by the bandits that know how to lobby.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "[C]razy libertarians ... got us 2008"??

      Boy, did you skip a few steps there.

      As for Keynes "seem[ing] to work"... just wait. We're nearing the endgame.

    • Re:Basic economics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @08:07AM (#51214869) Homepage

      Yet some models and explanations are solid and work. One of them is the concept of the natural monopoly. I would argue that Facebook, Microsoft (Windows and Office) operate in markets with natural monopolies.

      Yes, but for different reasons. Software is in general a natural monopoly. There's a mostly fixed development cost, hardly any marginal cost. That means there is a strong cost incentive to reduce the number of implementations until there is only one, which is the definition of a natural monopoly. On the bright side there are two alternatives, a proprietary solution monopolized by one company or an open source solution shared by everyone. Both are theoretically efficient since there's no reinventing of the wheel. Of course once you introduce a few more real world conditions like whether there's is really one product to fit every need, how the feedback cycle from profit/benefit to new development works etc. it's a bit more complicated.

      Social networks on the other hand have a huge network effect. That is to say, the value of an empty Facebook is almost none. Even they gave away all the source, said you can build your own site but not take any accounts or anything posted on Facebook, it would be almost worthless. So while software is a natural monopoly on the cost side, Facebook is a natural monopoly on the benefit side. Like the phone network, if you couldn't call someone with a different provider it doesn't matter even if the technology is trivial. That one is much harder to solve because you can always build better software, open source carries on even with almost no market share. But even if you have a better service, getting all the users to jump sides is incredibly hard. It's like how I'm sure it'd be easier if we all agreed to drive on the left or the right or 50Hz vs 60Hz or 110V vs 220V but the costs involved are absolutely massive compared to the gains.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Software is in general a natural monopoly

        You clearly don't know jack shit about technology.

        It's like how I'm sure it'd be easier if we all agreed to drive on the left or the right or 50Hz vs 60Hz or 110V vs 220V but the costs involved are absolutely massive compared to the gains.

        I'm glad you brought up power mains. Because I was thinkning about this very topic the other day and power mains was the analogy I came up with to explain it. If Apple/Google were around when power mains standards were made it would be like this:
        Apple outlets would have a special patented configuration of pins. No one can use their configuration without licensing fees. It has a chip in the plug and outlet to make sure they are geniune. It runs on a variable

      • Was Myspace a natural monopoly in 2006, when it was the largest social network site in the world and the most visited website?

        The network effects just mean that there tends to be one winner at a time, but do not mean one winner over time. The switching costs control that and the cost of switching social networks is trivial, i.e. go to a different website, maybe hit an import button to pull in the old site's contacts.

        If faceplant 2.0 came out and was way better than facebook, suddenly facebook would go the w

      • by Britz ( 170620 )

        There is network effect in software as well. Larger market share means that more people know how to use the software and there is more training and other business build around it. That is why software piracy is a mixed bag for the producer. If the pirate wouldn't have bought the software, the pirated copy provides market share and thus value.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008.

      Eherm, what? Keynesians got us 2008.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008.

      How? If politicians had listened a little more to libertarians, 2008 would probably not have happened and if they had listened a little less to Keynesians it wouldn't have brought mamy governments in deep trouble for several years.

    • 2008? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by glennrrr ( 592457 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @08:52AM (#51214945)
      Crazy Libertarians caused government created entities like Fannie Mae and the FHA to get people to take out mortgages they couldn't afford to pay?
      • by unimacs ( 597299 )
        The idea that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were responsible for the housing bubble and subsequent crash has been pretty well debunked: http://www.theatlantic.com/bus... [theatlantic.com]
        • You're absolutely right: it wasn't Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alone that caused the housing bubble, it was a combination of factors. The issue is really that on the one hand, government implemented lots of policies supporting, subsidizing, and encouraging home ownership; and on the other hand, it dropped the ball when it came to regulating and supervising financial institutions in order to prevent them from taking advantage of that public influx of money.

          Sure, that means that "too little regulation" was the

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Journalists and others prey on the economic ignorance of the masses.

          Capitalism: Not Guilty of Creating the Housing Bubble [youtube.com]

    • Britz -- You just had to turn this into a political issue, didn't you? "Crazy libertarians" did not cause the 2008 economic melt-down. A combination of misguided public policy, captured regulators, and crony capitalism created the conditions that made it inevitable. Those conditions included poor underwriting practices, over-extended borrowers, and complex financial derivitives used to intentionally hide the dangers. But these were symptoms; not causes. There have been a number of excellent books written ab
      • A combination of misguided public policy, captured regulators, and crony capitalism created the conditions that made it inevitable. Those conditions included poor underwriting practices, over-extended borrowers, and complex financial derivitives used to intentionally hide the dangers.

        And especially they involved the mistaken use (against his advice) of a mathematician's observation that interest rates correlated with risk to try to predict risk from interest rates, and create a way to evaluate the risk of a

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The standard solution is what we call deregulation. Say you force Uber to open up its platform to other companies, let them offer rides and compete on price. Similar to how telephone, electricity, water and broadband services were deregulated in many countries.

    • Re:Basic economics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:09AM (#51215707)

      I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work

      Keynesianism does make sense, unfortunately it doesn't work in practice. For example, empirical evidence is pretty strong that the Keynesian multiplier (how many dollars the economy gains from each dollars spent by the government) is less than one. Progressives and Democrats on the one hand complain about crony capitalism and big corporations, and on the other hand hand out trillions of dollars to such corporations in stimulus spending and bailouts. And when these programs don't yield the promised results [nytimes.com], they say that they should have spent even more. How stupid do you have to be to believe this crap?

      and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008

      How can "libertarians" be responsible for anything in our economy? We haven't had anything even remotely resembling libertarian government for more than a century and government regulations have been steadily increasing. The few areas where we have had "deregulation" and "privatization" (e.g., telecoms, airlines) have not resulted in anything like a free market (although they have still been beneficial). Most deregulation and privatization by Democrats and Republicans have themselves been tied up with corporate interests and crony capitalism, something both parties are deeply beholden to.

      Yet some models and explanations are solid and work. One of them is the concept of the natural monopoly.

      There is little evidence that natural monopolies exist in any economically meaningful sense. That is, if you define your market sufficiently narrowly, you can claim that some company has a "natural monopoly", but there is no reason to believe that your definition of "market" is economically relevant. For example, if you define the "desktop PC" as a market, Microsoft has a "monopoly", but if you look at the market of all interactive computing devices, Microsoft is just one of many companies. Of course, free markets do sometimes produce monopolies (or cartels), but those monopolies aren't stable, and they collapse the faster the more economically important that monopoly is; if you try to fix those problems with regulation, the cure is worse than the disease.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Where are you getting your facts from that the multiplier is less than one for Keynesian policies? This has been disproven about a million times, including most recently when after the stimulus post 2008 the multiplier went UP, and it was already well above one. All your link proved is that the programs that were implemented, which were already smaller than needed, didn't have as much of an effect as predicted.

        I understand economics is complicated, there aren't pat answers like "proper" science, and that of

      • There is a false meme that the big-business people and the big-government people are not one and the same. I call them DemoPublicans. What we live under is best called cartel-socialism where the big-business people funnel money to their big-government buddies to insure lockout of any competition. The result is the disappearing middle class - a clear indicator of the level of corruption. ( Yes - the old guard Republicans are practicing me-too socialism - socialism-lite. )

        The fact is that the USA in now more

      • by Britz ( 170620 )

        > For example, empirical evidence is pretty strong that the Keynesian multiplier (how many dollars the economy gains from each dollars spent by the government) is less than one.

        Yes. But it is bigger than zero. So if the government spends it on anything useful and the multiplier is bigger than zero, it is an added benefit.

        > There is little evidence that natural monopolies exist in any economically meaningful sense. [...]

        This is exactly the crazy libertarian I was hinting at. This is just meaningless th

    • Software with network effects tend to settle on one winner at_a_time. This means that winner is currently the best provider to the consumers, not that they're a real monopoly. They only last until someone comes along making consumers a better offer, then poof, they're suddenly no longer a monopoly? The real answer is that they never were a monopoly, just the current winner.

      Myspace wasn't a monopoly. Facebook proved that. Wordperfect and Lotus 1-2-3 weren't actually monopolies, MS word and Excel demonstrated

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh.gmail@com> on Thursday December 31, 2015 @08:36AM (#51214911) Journal

    In a dog-eat-dog world, you end up with one very fat dog. Not always one, sometimes two. Most of the world's beer is made by two megacorporations. Most of the world's cars are made by less than a dozen companies, and a few megacorps have the lion's share among them (Volkswagen Auto Group, General Motors, Toyota). Most of the world's computers are made by Foxconn. It's the same with everything. Capitalism only sort-of works with a small population and lowish amounts of automation, and with a credible communist rival to keep it in check. Outside of capitalism's narrow butterzone, it's just low competition between exploitative megacorps and runaway inequality until the system implodes.

    I also hate the way tech has been going for a long time now, towards walled-garden computing, unnecessary use of centralized online systems, user privacy violation, and worker exploitation. A disgusting industry that I hate and would like to get out of now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think you missed something. I don't agree with your Capitalism thingie.

      I drive a Ford, not listed as one of your only car manufacturers (I actually have 2).
      I don't drink beer, another of your monopolies I manage to miss.
      Don't know if my computer was made by FoxConn.
      I don't have any Apple products because of walled gardens.

      I DO have to report my health insurance to Obamacare and it has to meet those requirements.

      Funny, you listed capitalism as forcing you to do business with specific individuals. I can m

    • I came here to make the same point but I think you're missing out on one critical thing that the first article brings up: the network effect amplifies the velocity of the rise of winners in a capitalist system and it also makes it that much more difficult to disrupt the monopolies of those winners once they've been established. That likely means that while we're going through a period a rapid expansion and disruption right now with new winners being decided in the technological sector, this ride is probabl
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      What? There's plenty breweries and car companies. It's more dubious when you get down to only two or three and nobody else is even on the radar, like do you want AMD or Intel processor? AMD or nVidia graphics card? The workers do need better conditions, but that's primarily the workers' fight for better pay and better conditions. The consumers vote with their wallet for best products, unless it's something big like child labor or animal testing they're not going do "intervene" in how the labor is organized.

    • In a dog-eat-dog world, you end up with one very fat dog.

      You're apparently thinking of industry consolidation as a bad thing, forced by big guys upon little guys in order to monopolize the market and increase profits. But that's not at all what happens. Instead, as industries mature, innovation decreases and profits decrease as well. The people running smaller companies simply have little incentive to stay in the game, so they sell to big companies.

      That is not a bad thing at all. Inventors, innovators, and

    • by Art3x ( 973401 )

      Capitalism only sort-of works with a small population and lowish amounts of automation, and with a credible communist rival to keep it in check.

      How did Russia keep American capitalism in check, exactly?

      • They put pressure on capitalist societies (especially the US) to keep inequality down - a major talking point of communist propaganda was the amount of inequality capitalism produced, so capitalist societies went out of their way to keep it from skyrocketing out of control just to make a point to the communists. As soon as that pressure was removed inequality has been on a steady, uninterrupted upward trend.

      • Uhhh - the Russians are more capitalist than the USA... look it up. Russia has 35% of GDP as government spending - the USA 48%. So long term the Russian economy is the better bet. (they have no debt and have net exports ) ..

  • Although I believe Jacques is rubbing the right spots, he is not giving any specific example. As usual, let me state that "the cloud" just means somebody else's servers. So let me give you some examples I know of hardware or software locked to a given server:
    • The Cardo SHO-1 handsfree set for motorcycles uses a website that you need to register for. The kind of information that is stored in the website is minimal, but you still need to fill in data. The online components are firmware version check and soci
  • Isn't that where someone is already going to a specific destination and you ask if you can come along, giving them a small amount to cover the cost of gas?

    Or is the new fantasy version where you actively contact someone to take you a specific location that person would otherwise not have been going to, sending up a situation where you are required to pay them for their time and effort and they are required to include this money as income on their taxes since they are operating a business?

  • I would really life a nice ip webcam, with remote movement and such.

    However they all seem to pretty much become useless unless you subscribe to their cloud system.

    I want my own system.

    The really sad thing is these cameras are not even cheap.

    Anyone making an unencumbered ip camera?

    • There are plenty of self-contained IP cameras, including D-Link.

      There are also dozens of apps for iOS and Android that turn phones and music players into IP cameras.

      And if you want something cheap and completely under your control, you can set up IP cameras from a Raspberry Pi and a camera module. That's the cheapest and most flexible option.

    • I set one up with a raspberry pi for around 50$. Before that I used a PC-104 running debian and before that, a generic 386 computer with a $35 video camera from IBM and RHEL 5.0.. This is a nerd website. It's hat nerds do. Why are you here other than to bring the quality of discussion down?
  • This trend is not confined to tech and didn't originate there. Companies have attempted to turn us all into annuities. They prefer to think of us as warm bodies and themselves as bloodsucking mosquitoes with permanently installed straws. They just have to fly by every month and let a little blood out into their coffers.

    So we consumers are left with choosing which bloodsuckers will be allowed to feed on us. Death occurs when you are sucked dry. You won't be able to afford the water bill, or the electric bill

    • I've gotten rid of all 'annuities' in my life with the exception of insurance, property tax and food. It's not difficult.
  • There needs to be a tax on network effects to replace taxes on economic activity.

    Libertarians need to think more deeply here. The state of nature is one in which a natural person has de facto rights to fight for his survival — which includes not just his own personal survival but the right to sire and raise children to equally viable adulthood. When I use the word “fight” I mean it: Animals will fight for territorial access for the lives of themselves and their progeny. The Austrian and

  • We all bought into capatalism one way or the other. There is no 'sharing' in Capatalism and no sense of 'common good', so you're always going to end up with a few players at the top. There are mergers everywhere, not just in IT. Why do you think the wealth gap is happening in the first place?

    In Capitalist theory the large companies are supposed to break up naturally as they become unsustainable but since the American government is more interested in keeping these companies going rather then giving someo
    • Re:Capatalism (Score:4, Informative)

      by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @01:15PM (#51216667)

      There is no 'sharing' in Capatalism and no sense of 'common good', so you're always going to end up with a few players at the top.

      That's the pre-Enlightenment view of economics. In fact, the reason the Wealth of Nations was such a breakthrough is because it recognized that individually selfish actions in a free market promote the "common good".

      And it's the best way of promoting the "common good" that we know, because if you try to replace the free market with politics and government, you end up with not a few players at the top (where "few" in reality means tens of thousands or even millions, depending on how you count), you end up with one player, namely the government. And that one player is run by people who are just as selfish, power-hungry, and greedy as the CEOs of major companies. But unlike those CEOs, they are not constrained by market forces, and they can use violence against anyone with impunity.

      Yes, free markets suck, but they suck a lot less than all the known alternatives.

      • "it recognized that individually selfish actions in a free market promote the "common good"."
        I don't recognize that.. who recognizes that? I think it is more accurate to say that the free market sometimes produces a result that could be perceived as a common good but then so will a million monkeys at a million typewriters. In other words, it is a remarkably inefficient way to produce anything that is for the common good, and unless 'common good' is a unified goal it will only happen out of pure luck. Som
  • There is a simple solution to winner-take-all. Create protocols, instead of services.

    The sidecar example in the article is a great one. It points out that Uber is winning because more customers and drivers have the Uber app installed. How silly! If instead, there was a ride-sharing protocol, then someone could call for a taxi run by Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar. No vendor lock-in.

    Unfortunately, users aren't smart enough to reject these services that offer lock-in. Instead, people seem to really enjoy pickin

  • The second linked article points out how stupid it is for cloud services to be integrated into things unnecessarily. How do we educate users to reject these services? When I point out to someone that the flashlight app on their phone requires access to their contact list, they just don't care. When they have to give their email address to their television, they don't care. People are more interested in the consumption and freeness than in the debacle that it causes. They will bemoan their loss of priva

    • Yes, we the geeks create the code that implements those stupid policies but that's how being employed by a company works: Yo do what they tell you (within the law) and you get paid. I mean, these horrible practices probably come from marketers and "money" people.
      Alas, you're correct too with respect to common people: They don't care much they're forced to use online accounts and services for the most stupidest of things and without a majority of people rejecting those services they won't go away.
      The tech
      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        Yo do what they tell you (within the law) and you get paid.

        That's probably what the Sony rootkit authors said. And it is the cause of the problem.

  • How are individual people who decide to help people getting around a vendor lock in?

    Forcing people to use government-approved taxis is vendor lock in.

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