Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ridiculous self importance - Part 2

Just a month ago, overwhelmed by a number unbelievable claims from companies and lawyers at that time, I wrote the blog entry titled Ridiculous self importance, relaying what I thought of those claims. And yet now I am forced to write another one. See what happens when people don't read my blog? :)

Let's start with the already blogged move by Red-Gate to unilaterally rescind a promise they took to keep Reflector free. Just follow the link to the story for details, but keep in mind the general idea: a software company makes a promise that is completely ignored later on.

Moving on to EA Games. Like any commercial company that reaches a certain critical size, they become assholes. I am talking about the game Dragon Age II, a game that EA Games promised in the forums it would not feature SecuROM, but it does (read article here)! The company also completely fails to notify the game buyers that the feature is there. Another article then tells us the story of a player that bad mouthed the company and got banned from the company forums for 72 hours. But during that time, the Dragon Age II game he bought could not be played, either. That really sounds a bit 1984, doesn't it? The screen device watches what you say and then punishes you. Welcome to the future!

The last article (one can only hope) in the asshole saga is about Twitter. This service that I could never find a use for has grown exponentially because of two factors: the social paradigm and the API that allowed people to make their own software on top of Twitter. Having reached the critical size, Twitter now publicly announced that it doesn't need third party applications anymore. "Thank you, guys, but we will be making the money from now on. Thanks again!". This is one of the reasons why I distrust the cloud idea. I give enough control to Google deciding what is relevant for my queries (and hosting this blog :) ) to give it or other cloud providers the physical ownership of my business.

I believe these stories are related to the recent efforts to regulate the Internet and not only that, but also how you will be permitted to use your own computer or mobile device. Just like weird events before World Wars, they are only the predictors of an era in which the web will be increasingly controlled and will become just another commercial platform for companies. These events that look morally and logically absurd are attempts to shift the regulatory framework in a direction or the other, while we remain blissfully ignorant of the battle over our heads.

Hmm, mentioning 1984 and predicting World Wars... am I becoming paranoid? Well, I hope so, because the alternative is that I am right.