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Saturday Morning Musings on Corporate Control and Internet Freedom

Good Morning Conflucians!!

It’s so nice to wake up to sun pouring in my windows after the horrible rains of the past couple of weeks. I guess I should consider myself fortunate that all I had to deal with was some water in the basement. And since my ex-husband liked to buy every kind of tool and gadget, I happened to have a sump pump and a shop vac down there.

Yesterday it was 70 degrees here in the northwestern Boston area, and it looks like the nice, warm weather is going to stick around for the next week.

Ah…Spring! The forsythia is coming out and lots of green stuff is appearing in the yard. Soon the cherry trees will be blooming all over the place. Somehow it’s a little easier to be optimistic at this time of year than in the dead of winter.

In my Saturday morning ramble around the blogosphere, I came across an interesting piece by Cory Doctorow: Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) I found it thought-provoking, not because I was agonizing about whether to buy an iPad–I’m not even slightly interested in it–but because the arguments Doctorow makes are relevant to innovation in every area of life, including politics. Doctorow’s main point is that “incumbents make bad revolutionaries.”

I’ve spent ten years now on Boing Boing, finding cool things that people have done and made and writing about them. Most of the really exciting stuff hasn’t come from big corporations with enormous budgets, it’s come from experimentalist amateurs. These people were able to make stuff and put it in the public’s eye and even sell it without having to submit to the whims of a single company that had declared itself gatekeeper for your phone and other personal technology.

Doctorow argues that once any entrepreneur, no matter how visionary and innovative, gets enough power and control over a market, that entrepreneur/corporation/politician/journalist will try to corner the market and become a “gatekeeper” for what the rest of us are allowed to do, see, read, and buy.

We become nothing to them but anonymous “consumers” who will fork over our money and time and take whatever the controllers want to dole out to us. He says these gatekeepers have contempt for us as consumers–they want to “infantilize” us, keep us dependent on them, and prevent us from sharing the products we buy with others and modifying those products in ways that work for us as individuals.

Doctorow uses the example of a new iPad app offered by Marvel Comics. Not being a “comics person,” I don’t quite understand what it is, but here is Doctorow’s explanation:

I was a comic-book kid, and I’m a comic-book grownup, and the thing that made comics for me was sharing them. If there was ever a medium that relied on kids swapping their purchases around to build an audience, it was comics. And the used market for comics! It was — and is — huge, and vital. I can’t even count how many times I’ve gone spelunking in the used comic-bins at a great and musty store to find back issues that I’d missed, or sample new titles on the cheap. (It’s part of a multigenerational tradition in my family — my mom’s father used to take her and her sibs down to Dragon Lady Comics on Queen Street in Toronto every weekend to swap their old comics for credit and get new ones).

So what does Marvel do to “enhance” its comics? They take away the right to give, sell or loan your comics. What an improvement. Way to take the joyous, marvellous sharing and bonding experience of comic reading and turn it into a passive, lonely undertaking that isolates, rather than unites.

Isn’t this what is happening in every area of our lives these days? The internet has changed how we get our information and form our opinions; and the mainstream media, politicians, corporations, and the entertainment industry don’t like that one bit. They are going to fight to death to maintain control over the populace–making every effort to keep us passive and willing to settle for less than what we really need and want. As Doctorow says,

I think that the press has been all over the iPad because Apple puts on a good show, and because everyone in journalism-land is looking for a daddy figure who’ll promise them that their audience will go back to paying for their stuff. The reason people have stopped paying for a lot of “content” isn’t just that they can get it for free, though: it’s that they can get lots of competing stuff for free, too. The open platform has allowed for an explosion of new material, some of it rough-hewn, some of it slick as the pros, most of it targetted more narrowly than the old media ever managed. Rupert Murdoch can rattle his saber all he likes about taking his content out of Google, but I say do it, Rupert. We’ll miss your fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the Web so little that we’ll hardly notice it, and we’ll have no trouble finding material to fill the void.

Politicians are in the same boat as corporations–no wonder they have joined forces with big business in their joint efforts to control us and keep us consuming all the crap they want us to buy from them! The health care reform debacle is certainly a case in point. Most Americans want a single payer health plan–just expand Medicare to everyone and be done with it. Medicare already covers 40% of Americans, why not all of us? Medicare has very low overhead, so why should we have to buy insurance from corporations with 30% overhead?

It makes no sense, but the politicians tell us not to believe the obvious evidence that Medicare for all would be the best plan for the American people. They are going to do their best to try to convince us that we want to be forced to buy crap insurance from whomever they tell us to buy it from and that it was a fair trade-off for women to lose their reproductive freedom so that approximately 25 million more people can have crap health insurance that probably won’t provide the health care they actually need.

In 2008, the Democratic Party, along with the giant corporations who control the mainstream media, decided to force voters to sit back and just be consumers of whatever crap they decided to force down our throats. They selected a candidate for us instead of listening to what we wanted in a President. They weren’t interested in listening to us, and the President they chose for us isn’t interested in listening to what we think either.

Clearly Barack Obama and his corporate backers saw the danger of a vital, rough-and-tumble liberal blogosphere, and they realized they would have to deal with the big liberal blogs in order to win the Democratic nomination.

David Axelrod had a long history of running astroturf campaigns, and he knew just what to do. First, he needed to get young people involved. They would be attracted to a candidate who offered hope of “transformative change.” He introduced him to the product, Barack Obama, as a “transformative leader” and “inspirational speaker,” a “messiah” would would save the country from the Bush/Cheney gang.

Younger people wouldn’t know the difference. They wouldn’t really remember John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or even Bill Clinton, all of whom were better speakers and who implemented much more transformative policies than Barack Obama was offering–even the campaign before he reverse himself on nearly every issue.

Axelrod organized Obama camps where these enthusiastic young liberals could be trained to be “ruthless for Obama,” doing whatever was necessary to sell the new product on the internet and in person.

Then he sent these young people out to infiltrate the prog blogs, especially the biggest ones–Daily Kos and Democratic Underground. What the Obama crowd didn’t bank on was people like us who were a little older and/or wiser and just weren’t all that impressed with the packaging of the product. We wanted blueprints, details and specifics. We wanted to know what the guy really thought and believed. We looked past the packaging, and we decided not to buy the product.

Since, as Marcos Moulitsas likes to say, “it’s a big internet,” we headed out into the wilderness and started our own liberal blogs. No wonder they tried so hard to kill us off during the primaries. We weren’t interested in just being consumers of a product. We wanted to have a say in our own futures. We saw the government and the Democratic party as our employees, not our masters. We wanted freedom of choice.

Now that the banks, corporations and media have won the battle, now that they have their chosen front man and they have turned the “progressive blogs” into “access bloggers,” they are still doing everything possible to limit our choices so they can stay in control of the political system and keep us from gaining any real power over our lives. They are going to fight to the death to limit our control over our own internet experience, our choices of what media to consume.

We must be eternally vigilant in preventing the government and corporations from completely neutering the internet. Interacting with each other–with more and more people around the country and the world, freely exchanging ideas and information, is our best hope for saving what is left of democracy in America. They may have won this battle, but they have not yet won the war.

I’d love to get your take on this, but as always, please post links to what you are reading in the comments. Here are a few other stories that caught my eye this morning to get you started. Have a great Saturday everyone!!

Apple’s iPad hits store shelves

The Militia Man Next Door

Urologist Posts His Politics on His Florida Office Door

Terrifying Sea Critter Hauled from the Ocean’s Depths

Finally! Scientific proof that greasy breakfasts are good for us!

137 Responses

  1. I love this, BB.

    WE are the ones who didn’t get okey-doked.


    • Thanks, Mary. The more I think about all this, the more I think I’m doing the right thing by opting out of TV news. It’s much easier to see what is really happening if you get your news through open-source (internet).

    • Me too BB… this is a great take on our packaged president who needs to be recalled because he’s got the same problems that those Toyotas have … you can’t use the brakes on him. He just keeps veering off the road and heading right at reckless speeds. Something is wrong with the programming and we sensed it first.

  2. BB, great post. I’ve been mulling over the same idea with respect to our news and the media. It occurred to me while reading the complaints about the Olympics coverage when we were allowed to see only what NBC wanted us to see, while people in other countries could watch what they wanted, when they wanted. I started remembering growing up on the Canadian border when we got our rooftop antenna and how exciting and illuminating it was to watch the news from Canada. Then, everybody started getting cable TV and we were all thrilled about the clear and crisp picture on our TV’s never realizing that it was only the beginning of having the content of what we watched become completely controlled by a corporation. America gets to see only what Comcast, Verizon, GE, and a few other corporate giants want us to see. The internet is the last source available for any news outside the US. I’m sure the corporations will clamp down on that in short order.

  3. Under Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood has Failed

    • The first words were a wake up for me: they are a healthcare provider? Huh? How does the money get shuffled there? Got to research that.
      And I loathe the newspeak that “we avoided Stupak’s amendment when it was enshrined in the EO, and it exists in the Senate bill too.

    • We don’t have a pro-choice president, B*tch!

    • Under Nancy Keenan, NARAL failed; under Kim Gandy NOW failed; under Ellie Smeal Ms Magazine became akin to Mad Magazine. For me, at least, the movement and fight are over. After thirty and more years in the trenches fighting for women’s rights I’m done. Many young people made a choice to install someone who has never fought for women’s rights into the White House. Let them deal with it. As someone said Elections have consequences.

      • Boy do I ever agree with you. I lived through my young adulthood in fear of getting pregnant. I fought for abortion rights so other young women wouldn’t have to go through that. And this is how they thank me and all the rest of us idiots who fought for their reproductive freedom. Let them deal with the mess they made. I’m years past menopause, I don’t have daughters, and it’s not my problem anymore.

  4. Great points. You made me think of what they did to music in the 70s – with DJs getting paid by record industries to play only their songs. I do expect the internet to be less accessible – soon, I’d have to pay to have a blog I expect – and I am not sure I’d afford that.
    Still, thinking at samizdat in the old Soviet Union, of the way forbidden books were passed on and xeroxed in the old country and everyone was listening to Free Europe – I am optimistic that people will always find a way to connect with each other through the corporate fog

    • I think we will win in the end. Once the new technology was out of Pandora’s Box, the powers that be lost the ability to put it back.

      • I hope you’re right bb. We’ve been getting the short end of the stick lately.

  5. I just love this quote that Kos included in his old diary on the Obama-Clinton supporters’ split:

    There was always something incongruous about the self-proclaimed “Hillary Bloggers” trying to use Daily Kos for their purposes. DKos has been defined as a meeting ground not for every Democrat, but for the kind that wants to change the party to be more grassroots oriented, adhere to a 50-state strategy, stop the war in Iraq, and blunt the influence of lobbyists, PACs and the neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). That’s the glue that has always held the DKos community together and made it so large and strong.

    • Oh barf. THEY were the true Republican ratf*ckers, playing the “Clintons are raycists” game.

      Gimme a damm break.

      • Mary, the Dems own what they did to the Clintons in this regard–the sexism and mysogyny (sp) too. They have lifted race baiting and race card pulling to an everyday strategy of late. They haven’t needed any help from the GOP.

    • Bwahahahahahahahhhhhh!!!!

      How many things on Dkos’s wish list did he get? The joke is on him.

      • From this point forward, we’ll call him Markos the Impotent. Sound upon a stage, sound and fury, signifying nothing.

        If he needs sympathy, he can call Keith Olbermann, Anderson Cooper, or Chris Matthews.

        Compltely impotent.

    • They promoted an unknown Republican light corporatist and did everything to promote full blown lobbyist control and a purge of real liberals from the party. All the while pretending to do something different. All you have to do is look at the end result. Who stayed and who left. And what their candidate and their 50 state party and “neoliberal” DLC have done since. I guess “neoliberal” is like “neoconservative”. In fact, I think it’s exactly the same.

    • Funny thing – for about 5 minutes in 2003 there Kos was going to support Clark in 2004. But Dean made an art of scooping Clark endorsements, so before Clark announced, they became Deaniacs. I am bringing this up because reading that entry is the whole Dean shtick – CDS included. The 50 state strategy BTW is what brought us Stupak&friends.

      • Egg-zactly! And Kos can take full credit for Bob Casey too.

        • Not to mention, kossacks were campaigning for Bloomberg back when he was a Repub running against the Dem, the Bronx borough Prez. Anyone who objected and tried to support the Dem got jumped on. So, good to know Big Mike and Casey pass the exRepub stick test but Hill and her supporters don’t. Got to wonder how much was paid for that kind of “access.”

      • That 50 state strategy hurt our party just as much as electing B0. Maybe worse. It’s a sad time for the Democratic party right now. It’s on life-support. I say it’s time to pull the plug.

  6. Here’s a good response to Cory Doctorow’s message about iPads:

    Computers becoming appliances. Is this so bad? Computers that do amazing, new things that also happen to be extremely reliable? Is it worth pushing all of that innovation and engineering excellence aside because it’s more comfortable to hold onto an idealized vision of a future that never came to pass? The market gave open source 15 years to do a proper consumer desktop operating system.

    Who brought Linux to the mainstream? Google. Giant, corporate, rule-bending, corruptible Google. The for-profit megacorp it’s okay for open-source visionaries to work for, because at least they’re not Microsoft or Apple. The Google that has a “virtual monopoly over literature”. The company that sells the Nexus One still has tons of restrictions on apps that can be sold in their market—the only market that a majority of users will ever see. That’s better than Apple’s completely closed market, but let’s not pretend that Google won’t break out the lawyers when hackers step out of line .

    I’m glad the Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards. I’m glad it encouraged a generation of kids to tinker and explore. I’m also glad that I don’t live in the fucking ’70s and have to type in programs from a magazine anymore.

    There is absolutely nothing about the iPad that portends the end of innovation, tinkering, programming, design. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be 150,000 applications on the App Store right this second. So what if you can’t make iPad programs on an iPad. I don’t complain I can’t make new dishwashers with my dishwasher.

    The old guard has The Fear. They see the iPad and the excitement it has engendered and realize that they’ve made themselves inessential—or at least invisible. They’ve realized that it’s possible to make a computer that doesn’t break, doesn’t stop working, doesn’t need constant tinkering. Unlike a car, it’s possible to design a computer that is bulletproof. It just turns out that one of the ways to make that work is to lock it down. That sucks, but it certainly appears to be a better solution than design by committee gave us for the last couple of decades.

    It all just kills me. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. I am sitting here looking at my computer screen and looking over at your post and just wanting to take it apart line by line but what’s the point? I agree with so much of what we all seem to think about culture, about copyright, and freedoms to tinker. But I don’t want to use shitty computers with shitty operating systems, just like I don’t want to drive cars that come with their own schematics. Instead I want to drive beautifully engineered machines that scream with precision fury. And if they break, I want to take them to a shop and have them fixed. You keep the 3D printer; I’ll take AAA.

    I feel the same. There’s a lot I agree with Cory about. But I don’t want to drive a crapy open source car (see article for that bit) either. And I don’t want my drugs to be cobbled together open source based research either. Well, it’s all complicated.

    • Even though I agree with Cory on a lot of things, one place I think he’s completely wrong about is that this is just another gadget. I guess like the Mac, the iPod, or the iPhone. 🙂 Yea, I think this too is another platform. Meaning there is a bit of a paradigm shift happening with it.

      It’s not the gadget itself, or even the form factor. It’s the new approach to a UI. The whole concept of a keyboard and mouse and the way we use computers is because the makers of those things are engineers. That approach is a bug, not a feature. What we’re seeing now is, I think for the first time, a non engineers approach to getting and using information. It may take a while to catch on, but I think we’re seeing a turn in a new direction. And I think that never would have happened just from the open source, tinker, community.

      Time will tell. And no, I don’t work for Apple.

      • Well, of course, my post isn’t really about the iPad, since I couldn’t care less about it. The iPad isn’t going to affect my left anymore than iTunes did. Not at all. I’m just not one of the supposedly elite Mac people. I just thought Doctorow’s argument that revolution doesn’t come from incumbents was a good metaphor for politics.

        • Oh yeah…I forgot. The iPad is affecting my life in one way. The price of e-books has jumped up and I’ll have to think more carefully whether to go to the library or download an e-book instantly.

          • I’m so grateful I don’t care as much about gadgets as poor Joel Johnson. And I love gadgets. But gadgets are not my life.

            But when I read his post, “Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either)”, my head swells with sadness and I leak confusion from every orifice.

            linked above in DT’s comment

          • Yea, poor Joel kind of went over the top there. 🙂

          • Yep, that’s the result of a monopoly’s grip (Amazon) being loosened. Now publishers have a bit of power back. This won’t be the end of it. I think there’s a publishing revolution taking place. Not unlike I think a TV revolution because of TV over the internet. It all might take a while, but lots of things will likely change.

          • I love Apple products…for their usability and elegance, efficiency and human factors. Am typing this on an iPhone and can see the advantage of a larger screen. I do worry what will happen to public libraries when books are mostly consumed as e-books.

          • There’s that elitist thing I was talking about. As if the rest of us are using “unelegant,” “inhuman” technology and have smartphones with tiny screens. What’s wrong with us? We must be stupid!

          • There’s that elitist thing I was talking about.
            I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. Of course there is always an element of cult and all the strangeness with these sorts of things. My brand of car is better, how can you live without night vision heads up display in your car, etc. But in this realm I’ve heard this all my life. When I would show people or talk about the Xerox Star based environments, people using DOS or similar teletype based interfaces would yell about how elite it was to want to have a desktop metaphor and windows based interfaces, and OMG, a mouse of all things. How elite and snobbish of me. Where there is a new approach and especially a paradigm shift of sorts, some people get pretty excited. They often go over the top and are indeed elitist and snobbish about it. But sometimes what they’re excited about is a breakthrough.

          • BB, those are basic consumer tech device useability terms CB is using.

          • Three Wickets,

            What is your point? My point is that the rest of us who don’t prefer Apple products aren’t morons. I’m turned off by elitism, and have been for my whole life. But if you want to assume I’m a moron, that’s OK with me.

          • BB, I don’t think DT is calling anyone a moron. It’s just that the accusations of elitism are commonplace when something new and different comes along and those of us who glom on to them like they are new Christmas toys get a little too enthusiastic.
            I get the point you’re trying to make. There is some room for concern about how free the Internet is now and will remain. But I think your focus on a device is misplaced. It is the big media conglomerates who need to be reined in. Ironically, the ipad has the potential of leveling the playing field. No one is going to force you to buy the NYT or Comcast content and the ease by which talented amateurs have for breaking thru is much greater now. Apple is just providing a device and platform, a reliable one, that will make this possible. If apple makes a killing on making the Internet and innovation accessible to more people, why shouldn’t we reward that?
            I don’t mind being called an elitist for buying apple for my home. I use Linux and Microsoft at home. Linux to run modeling apications and Microsoft as commanded by the corporate IT overlords. If it weren’t for Microsoft, those IT Nazis wouldn’t have jobs and they know it. The constant maintenance and surveillance required to run an enterprise built on Microsoft everything gives then job security. I’ve used other operating systems and Microsoft windows remains a labyrinthine cypher to me after 15 years. Linux and MAC OS10 make so much sense and are so easy to use that I count myself amoung the elitists. But if the price threshold is too high or if you’ve never had access to Linux, where I do everything at the command line, then you’re at a disadvantage. That could be easily remedied when you get your first apple product.
            The PC people hate us and do a pretty good job of making us sound like Chablis and brie snobs. I assure you that we’re not. It’s just that why would we buy a Yugo when we can get a Mercedes? Why buy something that is always breaking down when you can invest in good design? You don’t have to be a snob to do that. You just need a good eye for value.

          • RD,

            First, I didn’t say Dandy Tiger called me a moron. My comments about elitism were addressed to someone named CB, I think, who suggested that only iphones have large screens. Then I told Three Wickets I didn’t like being talked down to when he tried to interpret CB’s comments for me.

            I made it as clear as I possbly could that my post had nothing to do with the iPad. I think anyone who wants one should get one and have a blast. My interest was in the specific arguments Doctorow made in his piece. Here is the relevant part of my post:

            I found it thought-provoking, not because I was agonizing about whether to buy an iPad–I’m not even slightly interested in it–but because the arguments Doctorow makes are relevant to innovation in every area of life, including politics. Doctorow’s main point is that “incumbents make bad revolutionaries.”

            I don’t think you are an elitist for buying macs. I couldn’t care less what kind of computer equipment other people buy. I do think it is a bit elitist for you to call my computer a Yugo.

            I am often excited about new technology. But I’m not sure how that is necessarily related to looking down my nose at other people.

          • Sorry, BB. But I have driven other operating systems and a pc running Windows *is* like a yugo. Brook has one as well. Unavoidable for her EPGY software. But I think I am qualified to call this one. Windows is crap. If you like it, more power to you. Just don’t call me an elitist because I know crap when I see it. It works. It gets you where you want to go. It’s prone to break down. Service is unreliable. I understand that’s what most people use because they’re super affordable and most people don’t really want to run anything more complicated than their browser. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix my mom’s PC. She can’t get wifi on her brand new laptop to work for her. I wish to he’ll she’d just junk the damn thing and buy a fricking mac. I might buy her an ipad for mother’s day and show her how to sync her iPod to it and be done with her service calls. It would make our lives so much easier.

          • RD,

            I didn’t ask for an apology and am not in need of one.

        • I liked Cory’s arguments and agreed with some, and agree you have a good analogy. However I also notice a lot of stuff that’s not quite right in Cory’s discussion, so I thought I’d show some responses.

          By the way, the “supposedly elite Mac people” meme comes from the MS part of MSNBC and is analogous to elite liberals I think. A great marketing campaign to make people stay away from that suspicious artsy approach to computers.

          • DT,

            I have used Apple products. I’m quite familiar with them, but just don’t prefer them. As I said to 3W, I don’t think that makes me a moron or a neanderthal. When people treat you as if you are a moron or a neanderthal if you don’t happen to make the same product choices as they do, that’s called elitism.

          • Market capitalizations: Google 180b, GE 195b, Apple 218b, Microsoft 255b. They are all about the same size.

          • Who’s treating anyone like a moron, BB.

          • 3W: Everyone I know who is a “mac person” treats people who don’t choose macs like morons. Examples in my life: my brother, my sister, my sister-in law, my thesis adviser, I could go on, but I won’t.

            My brother actually told me my computer was “crap” while I was home for my father’s memorial service. I’ve used my brother’s mac, and lots of other macs. I don’t have any reason for wanting to pay a lot more for something that I can already do on my “crap” computer.

            What I’ve noticed about “mac people,” is that they are often clueless about what other kinds of computers can do. They just have some perception that macs are better. If I were a film editor or a graphic artist, maybe I’d chose a mac. But I’m not. I buy a computer to do the things *I* need to do. And I don’t need someone lecture me about how I *really need* something else that I don’t want.

            Your talking down to me about what CB wrote rubbed me the wrong way, because it was beside the point. I have a smartphone with a big screen and a keyboard. I have a couple of computers that I’m very happy with.

            Live and let live is my motto. But mac users so often want to lord it over the rest of us “plebes” as if we are idiots. I don’t have to pretend to enjoy it.

          • For what it’s worth–probably very little–I’m an artist, and I loathe macs.

          • I’m a PC myself. I worked with Mac for years. We changed systems at work, and now everything is PC. I love it. I even replaced my Macs at home with PCs.

          • I use Macs and PC’s and Linux boxes and other random exotic boxes. I can get my job done with any of them. I know people that love each of them for various reasons.

            At least for my part, I wasn’t talking about Apple or Macs in general, I’ve been talking about some recent innovations that might end up being a paradigm shift that changes the way we do things. Like the Mac was in ’84 (or precursors Lisa before that and Xerox Star before that). And I will fully admit being part of innovations early doesn’t mean you will succeed or be part of the game as the innovation takes fire.

    • Yeah, people do tend to get caught in the medium.
      While the stuff he writes about information control is right on, making such a scary thing out of a tool is overblown, I agree.
      I remember when “computers” were such a big thing for people not used to them, they were saying our kids need to be taught computers early on so they can keep up. I remember reading such idiocy while watching my 2 years old typing words and doing graphics on our computer. Once she got on the internet, I could never catch up with her in shortcuts and speed of using different tools.

    • Heyyy, opensource doesn’t deserve the rap you give it. For instance, OpenOffice is a fantastic product. I choose it over Microsoft Office.

      • I am an open source developer too. But there are a few limitations to it. Mostly I think it’s because the vast majority of people doing open source work are engineers. So the usability and UI design in general tend to be nothing short of horrific. And if you go on support sites saying hey, this is tricky, how do you do this? The likely response from the creators of that part will answer that you’re an idiot. Sometimes it takes a more diverse group of people, working really tightly together to break out of the mold.

        • The likely response from the creators of that part will answer that you’re an idiot.

          I’ve worked at Microsoft. You get about the same response from developers there too.

          • That’s extra embarrassing when it’s an organization with a support staff and the like. They should promote an environment where developers understand very well that some users, believe it or not, aren’t also developers just like them. Heaven forbid. And with a culture like that, the best you can hope for are things only developers can understand and like.

      • I love OpenOffice also. Linux is becoming more and more user friendly as time goes on. It’s interesting to see Microsoft go more command line in their Enterprise offerings as Linux becomes more GUI. I wonder where the middle will meet.

        • I guess I’m an “idiot.” I first got a computer in 2001 and I don’t even know what “command line” or “GUI” means.

          • If you’ve only lived in graphical environments where you click or touch things, then count yourself lucky.

          • I like to learn – explain to me what those terms mean. I had an idea about GUI – is it General User Interface?

          • Graphic User Interface, basically the screen that the end user sees. So working your application more by interacting with visual design elements than by written instructions.

          • GUI is graphical user interface.

            That’s as opposed to a strictly text based interface with no graphic elements (no windows, no icons, no mouse or need for one). That is, the whole terminal/display is full of text from top to bottom, side to side. Just text. Even if it’s text, there are a lot of fun tricks you can do for form input (where you can tab to areas to be filled in). But it’s still just text.

            That’s how home and business computers worked until a certain little computer came along from Apple. Well, to be more accurate, that’s how most home and business computers worked even as long as 10 years after that little computer came along. That little computer was the Mac of course. And you’ll never guess what lots of people said about that computer and the whole GUI/desktop metaphor interface (using a mouse, etc.) back then. Pretty much the same we’re hearing now about the iPad. That GUI approach was a toy and there was no way you could have the functionality of a real computer that way.

          • Thank you, now I understand GUI. I never had a computer with anyhting other than a GUI.

            And “command line” – is that just a line of text that gives some sort of command to the computer, like a DOS prompt?

          • Yes.,”command line” is the same sort of text only interface. A full text only interface can be thought of as a command line interface. But within a GUI based computer interface, you can still have a command line based application running in a window that is just text (with a prompt as you say). That command line application or shell can be dos or a unix/linux shell or something similar.

          • Thanks, it makes me feel more competent to know something about it. Several years back I took a couple of computer science courses at a local college. Being only part time, I didn’t get an academic adviser and just picked my own courses basically out of a hat. Somehow, stupidly, I ended up not taking the introductory course and went straight into Excel and Access. Then I found out I couldn’t take Intro for credit since I already had a more advanced course, so I took Visual Basic 6.0. Anyway, I wrote a lot of programs in Visual Basic (and got an A in it too!) and I really know very little about computers.

      • And I’m waiting until I can use Graffitti on an iPod Touch or an iPad. I can write in Graffitti so much faster than clicking each letter on a stupid tiny screen keyboard.

        I am still hanging on to my Palm PDA because I use it for reference in my practice — prescription drug info, searchable medical textbook apps, etc.

        DT, do you know of any handwriting recognition apps for the iPod/iPhone which are as good as Graffitti in Palm OS?

      • LOL!

        “This device is laughably absurd,” goes a typical remark on a tech blog’s comments board. “How can they expect anyone to get serious computer work done without a mouse?”

        “This truly is a magical revolution,” goes another. “I can’t imagine why anyone will want to go back to using a mouse and keyboard once they’ve experienced Apple’s visionary user interface!”

        Those are some pretty confident critiques of the iPad — considering that their authors have never even tried it.

        Pogue said the techies are the ones who hate it. I don’t hate it. I just don’t want to spend the time and money on it.

        • Gee, Pogue makes the ipad sound like a piece of crap. A very expensive piece of crap. For the sake of all the people buying them, I hope he’s wrong.

          • to me, it has such a low level of functionality that I don’t understand why any one would want it …

          • I don’t know:

            The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.

            And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.

            The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine.

            The only question is: Do you like the concept?

          • That’s the review that is aimed at people who automatically love everything Apple, ’cause it’s cool to love Apple.

          • It’s the review you just said makes the iPad sound like a piece of crap. I was just quoting another part of it. OK, this is just a religious argument and is silly.

        • Sounds like religious arguments to me. Which is so typical of Apple based products. Some will hate it no matter what, and some will love it no matter what. Like he said about those authors, it’s hard to know what techies or anyone really thinks since only a few got hold of one today. But that certainly won’t stop them from loving or hating it. 🙂

          • Yes, and the “lovers” will never admit that any other technology is as good–even though they can’t even read their books on their iPhones or macs and even though they can’t read their books in sunlight, and even though they can’t play flash video.

          • can’t play flash video
            To be accurate, there’s no such thing as flash video. The video embedded/wrapped in flash can be played or easily converted. It’s the proprietary wrapper that’s buggy and virus prone that they don’t want to deal with. Flash is quite old and is being replaced by standards, namely html5. Of course it’s also a battle among companies.

            By the way, what books can’t you read on those devices (keep in mind there are kindle apps for them)?

          • I was just quoting from the review. The iPad screen is not going to be very friendly for reading apparently, especially in sunlight. Not like the Kindle which isn’t reflective. And the review says when you buy the books for the iPad, you can’t read them on any other device–even an apple device.

            But I just don’t need something like this. I already have a Kindle, which I really enjoy. I have two laptops, one of which has a 12-hour battery and only weighs 3 pounds. It has huge hard drive and giant memory and it only cost me about $700. I can easily carry my laptop and kindle in my handbag, and I can read the Kindle for a long time holding it in one hand. I can read it in bed. I work on my laptop in bed.

            I also have a Blackberry that does so much stuff, I don’t have time to use it all. I admit I love new gadgets. In fact I recently bought a digital recorder that I’ve hardly had time to play with yet, and I just got a new scanning device that I still haven’t had time to use yet.

  7. As far as news or any kind of content goes, if you want to use it for free, you have to produce it for free. So no paying jobs.

    Companies like Google are not non profit. They make most of their 30 billion every year on non privacy, by tracking and selling your behavior online to other people, except they call it openness and transparency. Google like Apple or any other commercial enterprise has a business imperative, not a moral or even a political one. Talk of social good and principles of freeness is corporate public relations that drives their business with both customers and government regulators, just as it does for GE. Just because they are internet and digital giants doesn’t make them any less corporate in their motives.

    Just digressing a bit BB, not aimed at your good post.

    • To put it another way, and I know I’m generalizing, there is a social and political cost to business freedom, and visa versa.

      • I don’t use any media “for free,” do you? How do you go about doing that? I pay big bucks for internet access, TV, and any kind of entertainment I consume. The internet has made more information available, but it hasn’t been free in my experience.

        For me, Doctorow’s point wasn’t about getting things free of cost. It was about the fact that there are always new innovators coming along, and then as they get highly successful, they try to become gatekeepers. But there will always be new innovators as long as corporations and government don’t try to block access of ordinary people to the levers of power.

        Again, the iPad is meaningless to me. I saw a metaphor for our political situation in Doctorow’s post.

        • we have city broad band access here in New Orleans. Cox Cable fought it tooth and nail, but if you live in New Orleans and you can access wireless, you can get on via the city anywhere within that zone. Also, bars and coffee houses compete for customers with wireless as do bed and breakfasts,etc. When my cable was still gone, I found every source of free wireless I could. Hotel Lobbies are great!

          • I am told NYC has it too – in the Wall Street area – where else?

          • That’s been happening all around the country. Lots of communities tried to make wireless available for free to their communities. Most dropped the effort after all the lawsuits and hassles from cable and phone companies, and their pet congressman on a leash. Really sad.

            The internet like basic phone and basic cable, should all be free since we the tax payers paid for the infrastructure one way or another anyway. And it’s our airwaves, right of way land, etc.

            If they could charge us for the air we breath, they would.

          • That’s wonderful!

          • After Katrina, we taught our courses that semester via blackboard. Most of the entire semester, i taught from a bar in the French Quarter. I would go there order up a cup of gumbo, a beer, and a hamburger and sit in the corner entering my lectures and answering student questions. It was an interesting way to see the city’s recovery. I loved it because they had ac when I didn’t too for six weeks before my neighbors and I finally chased a truck down with $600 cash and convinced the guy to come make sure our wires were working. When I first got back in late September, I was a total oddity in the bar because I was usually the only woman beside the bartender. Every one else were clean up contractors, etc. The biggest problem for the bar was that the Fed had set up a Halliburton tent to feed folks across the way (on Decateur) and it was blocking parking for the bars/restaurants as well as taking their potential customers. Halliburton was feeding the FEMA people as well as the police, national guard, army, etc. The entire french quarter business association had to fight to get them out of there after six months. The rainbow family was feeding the rest of us free in Washington Park too. That was trippy.

          • C’mon DT. Since when have cable and phone lines been free. If they were subsidized as public utilities, wouldn’t we end up paying for them in taxes we don’t pay right now. Apart from the services though, I think about the 300,000 professional journalists, researchers, editors who have lost jobs over the past five years. On the web, even Arianna can’t bring herself to pay full time retainers for her experienced and trained journalists. Half of what Google makes in one year would pay for all of those full time jobs lost.

          • Since when have cable and phone lines been free. If they were subsidized as public utilities, wouldn’t we end up paying for them in taxes we don’t pay right now
            Never, that’s the problem. We paid for them to be built/installed. We pay substitutes through our taxes for their operation. But we also pay for their use. Again.

            But yes, for them to be fully free, there is some service that would have to be continually paid for. But if we pooled our resources, and did it all together, say, oh, I don’t know, like healthcare, then it would be a much better price. Same jobs, same pay, just less bazzillion dollar executive salaries.

            I’m not saying the government should be in every business. But the ones that are clearly for the social welfare like health and education and here I’m adding basic, fundamental utilities (that we paid the infrastructure for anyway), I think we should pool our resources and run them together. That is, yes, socialize them.

  8. I’m watching the youngsters line up today to buy that Ipad just like they did when the Iphone came out. Remember the extreme pricedrop a little while later. Remember how many didn’t know you needed ATT to activate it. Remember the bugs still to be worked out? At least the younger generation don’t mind being the guinee pigs for the rest of us.
    On another subject, I was over at FDL and caught this post:http://firedoglake.com/2010/04/02/late-night-the-49-state-strategy/#comments
    Please read the comments and tell me again why I get crucified (Easter weekend) over there everytime I happen to mention the Clinton name.

  9. OMG! This is hilarious. Tiger Woods’ kindergarten teacher has hired Gloria Allred and accuses Woods of lying about a racist attack he claims happened when he was 5 years old.


    • I’m not discounting what he said happened. If it happened, it was horrific. However, I’m hard pressed to believe that if a teacher knew about it, she would ignore it.

      But I will use his own quote from a few years ago about the Augusta Nationals against him.

      Dateline: MIYAZAKI, Japan Tiger Woods said Tuesday he hasn’t changed his mind about playing at the all-male Augusta National Golf Club despite a New York Times editorial calling on him to skip the Masters as a gesture against sexism.
      As I’ve said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” said Woods, who is Japan for this week’s Dunlop Phoenix golf tournament.

      “I think there should be women members,” said Woods. “But it’s not up to me. I don’t have voting rights, I’m just an honorary member.”

      The New York Times suggested in an editorial Monday that Woods skip the Masters next year because of the all-male membership …

      One would think that a victim of racism like Tiger Woods would have more sympathy toward other oppressed groups. I’m always amazed when the oppressed could care less about the other oppressed.

      • It’s more than ironic that Tiger returns from rehab for serial cheating to play in Augusta, the one club on the tour that rejects women membership. The club had to go to court to defend its all male membership. Has Tiger’s respect for women grown in rehab. Doesn’t look like it.

  10. I don’t believe that all content must, or even should, be free. If no one is ever paid for writing, for music, for films, mostly what we’ll get is junk.

    There’s great free content, of course. This blog is a good example. But how will anyone ever be able to make a living from their creativity if no one is paid for their efforts?

    Carolyn Kay

    • Hear! Hear!

    • People still get paid to write, and I see a lot more concern about journalists losing their jobs than those who have lost working class jobs. The fact is, people will always be paid for writing, art, and so on.

      But as technology changes, media producers have to change with them. The NYT, Washington Post and many other big media corps. got caught with their pants down.

      Other writers started producing content on-line and did well early on–like Slate, for example. When they first started up, I paid for a subscription. I did the same with Salon. Later both Slate and Salon were making so much from advertising that they no longer needed to charge subscribers.

      Newspapers will have to find a way to deal with the way things are or they’ll go out of business like any other company.

      I even paid for NYT delivery for awhile to get the editorial content, but I decided it wasn’t worth what I was paying. A lot of other people must have felt the same way, because the Times dropped the on-line subscription program. Now they are talking about charging for content again. If they want to do that it’s fine by me. I think they could make more money in more innovative ways, but it’s no skin off my nose.

      • Depends. I think the public is getting wise to the media manipulation. Well, except for the people hooked up to Fox. They’ll probably believe anything. But the other half of us know that something doesn’t parse between news and reality. So, the NYT may make money if they stick to high quality, reliable news. If they continue to stray by pulling their punches when covering the administration in power and shutting down opposing voices or if they continue to slant the news in the direction of the Village Idiots’ view of the world, I predict their ipad revenue stream will fail. I won’t pay for lies and manipulation ala Judy miller, would you?
        The minute I detect bullshit, I refuse to pay for it. I have a pretty good detector now and I’m very encouraged that others are getting it as well. The NYT has a choice. Be honest, top notch journalism or go the way of the dinosaurs. We don’t need more crap content. The only people who do are getting it from Fox.

        • Well that was kind of my point. We refused to buy the bullshit, while most of the prog blogs became “access bloggers” and neutered themselves.

          I doubt if I’d ever willingly pay directly for any news content on line again, certainly not the NYT which is basically the voice of the power structure. I believe they will fail again if they try it. These news companies should get their pound of flesh from Comcast and Google, not from me. If I just have to go with alternative media only, I’ll be just fine.

          • It’s natural selection. Adapt or die. The NYT is facing a savvier consumer. If it doesn’t adjust accordingly, it will die. And good riddance. I predict it *will* struggle. There will be some initial interest but if they don’t take advantage of the new revenue stream to invest in their international news bureaus, they will lose in the end. I won’t pay for propaganda and neither will most apple snobs.
            That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

          • OT, mostly: What’s extra sad about NYT and some others is they don’t even do their advertising right on their online paper. They seem to have random ads not suited to the user and what they’re looking at, what the history of things they’ve browsed and read, searches, etc. To say nothing of location or other histories. Look at the difference in ads when you go to Google and look up something vs. browsing around NYT and reading some articles. They’re probably making 1/10 the income from their advertisers because of this. Talk about sad.

  11. In defense of Apple’s iPad, Doctorow seems to have overlooked something that undermines his whole argument. That is, the iPad sdk is available to anyone for relatively little money. It’s something like $200, which is a drop in the bucket. With those tools, a developer with a good idea can create custom applications. This had been do succesfully on the iPhone that there are something like 180000 applications for that device. Some people make a lot of money with them. With more real estate on the ipad, I can see some companies developing applications tailored to their own needs. For example, electronic notebooks for the chemist. A company like Cambridge Soft or MDL (less likely), could use the sdk and open source code to create notebook/registration systems that upload to the company’s cloud. What the ipad offers isn’t fascism but flexibility.
    I don’t begrudge the NYT or Marvel Comics their moves to a digital platform. The world is going digital and content providers have a right to make money and protect their copyrights. After all, when Doctorow went diving for valuable comic books to buy and trade, dud he send Marvel a cut of his profits? I understand that it takes some of the incentive out of collecting but there’s always furniture and other antiques.
    The little companies that can afford to hire a developer may be very happy with the freedom an ipad provides, releasing them from the expense and mediocrity of microsoft. What little companies need is more capital. The ipad isn’t going to strangle them. It’s just a device. You make what you want with it. I see Jobs as visionary. He’s already 10 moves ahead. I’m ready to jump in. The kid is taking programming her freshman year of high school and I plan to buy an ipad- and maybe the sdk- and sit back to see what happens.

    • Actually the SDK is free for development on your Mac (with iPhone and iPad simulators), but $99 if you want to be able to deploy on the device.

      Apple’s own app store is a closed system where only approved apps are sold. But then so is Google’s and most other big commercial stores. There are other approaches to sell non approved apps. They can be ad hoc apps sold on an individual bases, you can sell within an enterprise (which can be any conglomerate of people together — say porn fans), or you can sell them in other app stores for devices that have been jail broken (a 1 minute procedure these days).

    • The kid is taking programming her freshman year of high school and I plan to buy an ipad- and maybe the sdk- and sit back to see what happens.
      By the way, I’d be happy to give pointers and suggest online docs/tutorials.

    • I can see that my use of metaphor in this post fell on deaf ears. I didn’t even interpret what Doctorow wrote as being about free content. I took his point as being about incumbants not being the best revolutionaries.

      • Not deaf ears, I heard and understood. Just a bad metaphor IMO because like with a lot of things in technology and science, often the revolutionary things actually come from the commercial world, not outside of it.

        • Well I don’t think revolutionary things in politics come from amateurs necessarily. But new blood helps when you are talking about change and innovation–whether in politics or in other fields. That doesn’t mean it’s free.I don’t get where that argument is coming from.

          In terms of politics, it means that when incumbents have spent too many years in the bubble of DC they become more interested in holding onto what they have than listening to their constituents or working on real policy changes.

          • I don’t disagree with that. Perhaps I got my wires crossed. 🙂

          • With the possible exception of what I just said below. The entrenched FEMA types under BClinton or State under HClinton getting re-energyzed and thinking out of the box and doing new things. So perhaps it’s just just the new vs. old, but it has to do with an atmosphere of innovation from above (or from somewhere).

      • Yep, I got your point. And in some cases, you are right. But I think the lack of innovation starts at the top. If your company is composed of bean counters and self-important MBAs that strive to be part of “the bonus class”, then research will always be looked on as an unappreciated money pit and innovation will suffer.
        If your company is run by a guy who has seen the highs and lows, rags to riches to rags, and has consistently seen the value of innovation, then innovation will flourish. For some people, money is not the end point, it’s just a tool. And it’s good for buying new livers but I’m betting that Jobs knows that money can’t bring you good health and happiness.
        If it makes the stockholders happy, he’s probably ok with that. If not? So what. He’s fallen before and he got back up again.
        DT: yeah, I’m thinking of enterprise level applications. Don’t you think they’ve already thought of it?

        • Good point about from the top. I think that’s really the important differentiator. I think you could have a bunch of old timers in a big organization, say FEMA under BClinton or State under HClinton, and have an energized, innovative group thinking outside the box as it were. And you could have a new organization with all fresh faces run by bean counter MBA’s and have no innovation whatsoever.

  12. bb, I agree with everything you say except about Apple and the iPad.

    I’ve used Apple products since 1993 (prior experience with a green-screen all-text DEC). I didn’t go online at home till OS X, because I was worried about security. Recently I investigated netbooks—ugh, that Windows interface is still ugly. I was thinking about going Linux, but I don’t know enough about maintaining it. I’m typing this on a MacBook, without any Microsoft software.

    I don’t have cable TV (I remember when they promised that if we paid for it, it would be ad-free, just as nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter”) or a cell phone, because I don’t like being dinged every month; to me, happiness is a low nut. Broadband is my sole luxury necessity.

    But if I weren’t unemployed, I might be out buying an iPad right now. A browser that’s a pound and a half and slips into my bag—wow. Ten-hour battery life—wow. I would download free books from Project Gutenberg. So what if they’re old—if I haven’t read them, they’re new to me.

    I admired Apple. I’m a sucker for good design, and Apple is all about the user experience. They are industry drivers—remember the protests when they stopped shipping computers with floppy drives? Seen any floppies lately? They have gotten AT&T to break with the locked-in-subscription model, and I would not be at all surprised to learn that behind the scenes they twisted AT&T’s arm to upgrade their service.

    And broadband should be free. The telecom industry made promises about upgrading service to match that of other countries and simply failed to follow up on them.

    • Edit: “I admire Apple” (not “admired”).

    • Whatever Apple does is fine with me. I’ve never had a critical word to say about their products, as far as I can remember. I don’t have any interest in the iPad, because I already have more technology available to me than I can use, and I know it would be far too expensive for me to justify based on the amount of time I would have available to use it.

      • Talk about can of worms. LOL

        • I forgot to say above, DT, I think quite a lot of scientific innovation comes out of academia too.

          • Yep. Or more generally, government or other public funding based research also leads to innovation. Though in those cases, sometimes the result is just as closed as strictly commercial research — i.e., resulting in patents and licenses that prevent open usage. Which by the way pisses me off because that was my money that helped create that thing…

          • Yes, true unfortunately.

      • I know what your original premise was, and agree that Apple was perhaps not the best analogy, however, that was Cory’s basis, and you were just building on it. If I understand correctly, your point has nothing to do with the Iwhatever, just the point that often when corporate culture becomes rampant, innovation goes out the exit door, and I agree. After being in a corporate situation for so many years, watching as others took the ideas of subordinates, and bastardized them into something that was palatable to the upper levels, but never as unique and groundbreaking as the original, I can relate. The last project I worked on was originally estimated as a 5 month project. Throughout the many changes brought about by the “marketing geniuses” who had no idea about the technology and didn’t think their involvement extended beyond “Make it so”, we ended up with something that lasted 11 months, made no money, and died because it crashed and burned in exactly the way that the folks that were in on the original design said it would if all the marketing issues were forced on us. As a matter of fact, it cost the company, because the folks they had signed on to the product demanded every cent back, plus some. Had the company listened to the innovators, and the project people who understood and believed in their vision, it would have made multi-billions (as proven ten years later, by another small company who ran with the idea (with modifications so they couldn’t be accused of nefarious dealings).
        Your point, I think, was that corporate think-speak slows down innovation, and if Mac afficiandos reflect, they would realize that when Jobs left, the company went into a slow tailspin, which didn’t recover until he was brought back into the fold.
        And I agree with the analogy to government think-speak. It happens. Had the administration stayed true to it’s former beliefs, and taken an innovative stance to implementing it, perhaps ……
        But if wishes were dreams, and dreams came true….

  13. The illuminati have spoken: Everything would have been worse with Hillary. Thank Goodness for their brilliance. We would be in a whole lotta trouble.

    How Would President Hillary Do It Differently?

    I don’t want to excerpt it. Just go witness that prime example of intellectual detritus.

  14. Whoever recommended this Guardian piece, thank you for making me laugh uproariously for a very long time. This had me in stitches.

    If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that “says something” about your personality, don’t bother. You don’t have a personality. A mental illness, maybe – but not a personality. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me slagging off Mac owners, with a series of sweeping generalisations, for the past 900 words, but that is what the ads do to PCs. Besides, that’s what we PC owners are like – unreliable, idiosyncratic and gleefully unfair. And if you’ll excuse me now, I feel an unexpected crash coming.

    Most likely my problem is that I’ve been working with computers since 1965. What could I possibly know about them?

    Just like I’ve been following presidential politics since 1960. But all that experience, it counted for nothing in 2008. What did I know?

    Oh yeah, I predicted Obama would be really bad–and he’s much much worse than even I expected!!!

    {Laughing maniacally}

    • Beat me. I’ve only been programming on computers since 1972. I think my first email over the arpanet was around ’73 or ’74. But what do I know.

      • That is a fricken funny article though. 🙂

      • I didn’t mean to imply that I’m in your class. I’ve just been using the things, not programming them. Although the earliest wordprocessor I used was extremely complicated to use. The first computer I was involved with took up an entire room and used punch cards. Later the computers got smaller, but the punch cards were around for a long time.

        • I know zip about programming, Dandy, and I love reading the stuff you write about it–and the stuff about the iPad. No matter how old I get, I still love new gadgets.

        • I started with those monsters too and punch cards and paper tape. Wild fun in those early days. I blew my high school organic chemistry teacher away with a pretty cool chemistry program on one of those monsters. Ha, class, shmass. Anyone can do that crap with some good teachers.

          • Yeah, the paper tape wordprocessor. It was call a “Dura” machine or something like that. I worked on those at Wiedner Library back in the ’60s. At the time, it was huge, exciting innovation. You could actually go back and edit things like on a typewriter! LOL

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