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The Perils of Technology January 23, 2012

Posted by bobv451 in business, e-books, education, Free, ideas, iPad, VIPub, web & computers, writing.
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No, I haven’t become a Luddite but just want point out how we are on the frontier and still not sure what’s just beyond that cloud of dust. Mike Stackpole is using the new Apple book creation software, loves it and doesn’t see a problem with the EULA (End User Legal Agreement). The people at PCMagazine do.

Mike is probably right that the EULA will change, but a recent story comes to mind. It has entered the “legendary” position about how Van Halen demanded all brown M&Ms be taken out of the candy bowl. Outrageous diva stuff, right? They claim it was to be sure the venue providers actually read the contract since they sometimes arrived and didn’t have proper power, lighting, facilities necessary to actually putting on a concert. Brown M&Ms told them to check everything else since the promoter hadn’t read (and abided by) their contract.

I don’t doubt that one software contract actually included the clause that the user sell his soul to the devil. They probably had fun showing how many people actually had not read it. Most (almost all?) didn’t. I figure if they aren’t asking for my DNA genome and bank account number, I’m relatively safe since the publishers long ago devoured my soul.

But we need to think about what technology is doing. Long ago I wondered if anyone checked the airport luggage scanners for radiation leakage. This was before the soft x-ray scanners came into use. I suspect the TSA will either be unable to spawn or will produce monstrous mutant offspring (I leave it to the reader to comment about offspring being human because of reversion to the mean). Another thing that occurred to me a long time back when I first heard how some big companies wanted user software to be on their servers (ie, your word processor would be on MS servers, not installed on your computer, and you would access it via the net) My worry was the internet going down when I needed most to work. Let me keep the programs on my own computer to use when I need them, not when you allow me access. But again those cynics at PCMag bring up another thought I had about this. What if the company where you store your data goes bankrupt?

I saw somewhere that Amazon servers are used by most of the S&P 500 companies. A lot of power beyond selling ebooks and survival food.

It seems that Apple is the 100% provider on educational stuff. Or are they? Again from PCMag here are some good resources for the educator (or the one allowed to actually go online–most schools in Abq prohibit this.)

Time to actually work. Or what passes for it around here.

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