Oh not today or tomorrow, mind you, but probably in my lifetime.

I'm not talking a bloody revolt or coup, but more of a revolution by a minority group against corporate America. This is based on the following trends:
1.) The Linux/xBSD/etc... user base continues to grow as the quality and usability of Open Source Software improves

2.) Open Source Users tend not switch back to using "Closed" operating systems.

3.) Open Source Users tend to be rather fanatic, and encourage others to make the switch.

4.) Corporate America continues to pressure elected officials into passing bills which make life for Open Source Advocates difficult.
I am noticing these trends. While we see smaller companies doing very well in the Open Source world many big software and hardware manufacturers are actively fighting against the movement. Most merely refuse to offer their products in a format which is compatible with Open-source operating systems, or do not provide support for those OSes when independent groups produce drivers/ports. Others are worse, sending out cease and desist orders to people who produce drivers/ports, while not offering drivers/ports of their own. Many Open Source Advocates feel that this is a "bullying" of sorts, usually pointing at Apple or Microsoft as the driving force behind these tactics.

The sad state of affairs is that there are people I know who would like to switch over to Linux or xBSD but don't wan t to give up their favorite piece of hardware. Meanwhile there are many advocates who will not buy products that are unsupported for the OS of their choice. Current estimates put the number of Linux users in the world at 10,000,000 and growing. I cannot see how these companies feel it is a "good thing(tm)" to alienate such a large demographic.

The companies that place cease and desist orders (etc..) on individuals producing drivers for their hardware (most of the time using their own free time and not asking for any monetary reimbursement for such work) are causing a level of unrest in the community. These people are taking their own time in order to make these companies (who may make a f ine hardware product) more profitable by expanding the potential user base for the company's products, and the company is responding by branding them as criminals. With increased sanctions of this nature combined with accusations of companies using source lifted from open source programs in their own commercial products (without crediting the original author, or opening their own source code) will further enhance the hostility between Open Source Advocates and Corporate America.

As well, Linux and other Open Source Operating Systems and software are making their ways into schools, students coming out of high school/college are graduating with more computer knowledge, it is felt that this trend will continue to the point where "computer illiteracy" will be viewed as much a problem as illiteracy was 10-20 years ago. These students who have grown up around computers seem to pick up on new technologies rapidly (much like students introduced to language skills early in life find learning new languages easier, even as adults). This "Generation Tech" will probably form the front lines in this revolution.

The revolution may come and go without many people noticing, it may have already started (although I believe we're in the pre-revolution stages at this time). It may simply be one waged by the consumer, refusing to buy products from manufacturers who bully customers into using just one operating system. Although I see it as being more overt, there will be protests against legislation and companies who advocate a strong hold on their "intellectual property" and pursue vague software patents (such as a patent on "linking" or "one click shopping"). This will probably be performed in conjunction with more radical individuals performing DOS attacks, and other "net terrorism" against these companies, as well as attacking government sites.

It won't be pretty, but I feel it coming unless things begin to change.


Last year, (1999) at least 5 people were killed by robots.

Seriously. One of them was a guy named Kenji Urada. He worked at a Kawasaki factory. The robot was malfunctioning, and Kenji bypassed a protective rope and accidently hit the On switch.
On a related note, scientists at Brandeis University announced this August that they made self-replicating robots. They were little crablike plastic things.

Scary, eh?

I saw this on dailynews.yahoo.com. The article was written by a Paul Somerson.

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